8 of the Best Episodes from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’
Aug 12, 2019   •   Nissie Arcega
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Aug 12, 2019   •   Nissie Arcega
One of the best shows in the history of TV has been picked up for a live-action Netflix original series, and we urge you to use the next few days to get in on the Team Avatar love. Treat this list as a definitive guide for episodes to be excited for, or simply as an eight-point argument to convince you to watch it.
Needless to say, spoilers ahead!
Lake Laogai is probably one of the more gripping episodes, because it unearths (Earth Kingdom pun intended) the truths behind why “there is no war in Ba Sing Se.” Here, we find out that the Dai Li, the elite police force of the city, have been running an underground brainwashing facility to keep its citizens blissfully ignorant of the Hundred Year War.
This is the scariest episode out of the entire show, considering that it’s meant to be a show for kids. However, this is also one of the episodes that really show us how powerful of a waterbender Katara is. The ability to bloodbend is introduced through a vengeful innkeeper who has been using it to kidnap villagers. The scariest part is the ending; despite an epic one-on-one battle, the innkeeper Hama feels triumphant as she feels she’s corrupted another with the dark forces of bloodbending and revenge.
A prison break that’s bound to keep you on the edge of your seat, “The Boiling Rock” follows Sokka and Zuko’s mission to infiltrate the Boiling Rock, the Fire Nation’s top security prison. They brew up an elaborate plan that tests the limits of Zuko’s firebending abilities and Sokka’s creativity.
It also gave us a free taste of Zuko’s, uhm, unique comforting methods.
An episode that perfectly highlights the awkwardness of switching sides and offering to mentor the very Avatar you tried to hunt down for months. It’s supposed to be a tense situation, but the writing turns it into a pretty funny one.
Right after Zuko is welcomed into Team Avatar as Aang’s official firebending master, he finds out that he lost his ability to firebend, since he’s let go of the anger that fueled it. Zuko and Aang travel to the Sun Warriors and try to learn the true nature of fire from the original firebenders: dragons! It’s also revealed that Iroh, who was thought to kill the last of the dragons, actually kept them a secret to protect them.
Although I’m not a fan of episodes that are dominantly flashbacks, “The Avatar and the Firelord” might be one of the most important turning points in the show. It challenges our idea of how wars start, and is a pretty great history lesson on the war itself. It’s revealed that apparently, Zuko and Aang’s destinies are more intertwined than they think (Zuko’s grandfather is actually Roku, Aang’s past life), and this helps Zuko finally choose the right side.
Takeaway Wisdom: “Anyone’s capable of great good and great evil. Everyone, even the Firelord and the Fire Nation, have to be treated like they’re worth giving a chance.” – Aang
Definitely a weirdly-entertaining episode, The Beach follows the Fire Nation gang (Azula, Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai) on a forced vacation on Ember Island. We see them try to live their lives outside of the war, where they eventually end up dealing with their family traumas by the beach. It’s heart-warming, has good comedic moments, and overall one of the best filler episodes of all-time. It also came at a pretty good time in the show, since Book 3 was jam-packed with intense story arcs.
Yes, this is technically two episodes, but you can’t take one without the other — which is also an important theme of the whole battle. This is the season finale of the very first book, which is honestly the best way it could have ended (even if it hurt so so bad!). For the first time, we get up close and personal with the unseen forces of the spirit world, the cruel ambition of the Fire Nation, and the heartbreaking sacrifices we have to make in the name of duty. Words can’t ever justify how great this finale was, so really, just watch it.
Avatar is 100% the best show in the world, I’m still not over the fact that it’s finished. Please catch it when you can.
What’s your favorite episode from Team Avatar? Share it with us below!
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